“Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.” (I Corinthians 13: 13, the Message Bible)
I love the adjectives associated with each of these recommended actions. Each requires that we express these virtuous qualities, but that we be sure to do them in a big and powerful way.
There is a bold commitment in these ideas that I find exciting. We are not only to have trust, but we are to have it with steadiness. We are to do it with a constancy and certainty and diligence. Whether we are always sure in each day, with its various challenges, we can have a practice of trust that is reliable. We may not know what is to come and why, but God does. This steady trust is a release to good.
And we can hope unswervingly. We can keep that hope always before us, without deciding that it doesn’t apply to us in certain circumstances. We can always hold to a belief that things can be better, that there is an answer, that healing is available and that it is ours to see and know. This kind of hope doesn’t veer off and stray when the going gets tough. It stays the course with expectation, because we believe that good is truly possible and natural.
And the best one: love extravagantly! This is most important, according to Paul, and that is because it is the most healing, most true to us, and the most full of joy. We can love extravagantly, beyond what may feel called for even, because we have so much love to give. God has built us to love, and by doing so, we find ourselves settling into who we are and thriving in this state of being and acting. Love never needs to be limited, because true Love really can’t be.
Love with grandeur, without reservation. Love God, good, with devotion. Love God’s children without judgment. Love yourself lavishly and willingly and often. Don’t hold back! There’s more than enough to give and to receive.
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